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HISTORY OF PHILIPPINE LITERATURE I.

Literature during American Regime (1898-1946) Filipino resistance to American Colonization which began in 1898 when Spain ceded the Philippines to America officially ended on July 4, 1902 upon President Theodore Roosevelts announcement that the war of resistance was over. Thus began the aculturization of the Filipino into a verisimilitude of the American way of life. A new set of colonizers brought about new changes in Philippine literature. New literary forms such as free verse(in poetry), the modern short story and the critical essay were introduced. American influence was deeply entrenched with the firm establishment of English as the medium of instruction in all schools and with literary modernism that highlighted the writers individuality and cultivated consciousness of craft, sometimes at the expense of social consciousness. The poet, and later, National Artist for Literature, Jose Garcia Villa used free verse and espoused the dictum, Art for arts sake to the chagrin of other writers more concerned with the utilitarian aspect of literature. Another maverick in poetry who used free verse and talked about illicit love in her poetry was Angela Manalang Gloria, a woman poet described as ahead of her time. Despite the threat of censorship by the new dispensation, more writers turned up seditious works and popular writing in the native languages bloomed through the weekly outlets like Liwayway and Bisaya. The Balagtas tradition persisted until the poet Alejandro G. Abadilla advocated modernism in poetry. Abadilla later influenced young poets who wrote modern verses in the 1960s such as Virgilio S. Almario, Pedro I. Ricarte, and Rolando S. Tinio. While the early Filipino poets grappled with the verifies of the new language, Filipinos seemed to have taken easily tot the modern short story as published in the Philippines Free Press, the College Folio and Philippines Herald. Paz Marquez Benitezs Dead Stars published in 1925 was the first successful short story in English written by a Filipino. Later on, Arturo B. Rotor and Manuel E. Arguilla showed exceptional skills with the short story. Alongside this development, writers in the vernacular continued to write in the provinces. Others like Lope K. Santos, Valeriano Hernandez Pea, and Patricio Mariano were writing minimal narratives similar to the early Tagalog short fiction called Dali or pasingaw (sketch). The romantic tradition was fused with American pop culture or European influences in the adaptations of Edgar Rice Burroughs Tarzan by F. P. Boquecosa who also penned Ang Palad ni Pepe after Charles Dickens David Copperfield even as the realist tradition was kept alive in the novels by Lope K. Santos and Faustino Aguilar, among others. It should be noted that if there was a dearth of the Filipino novel in English, the novel in the vernacular continued to be written and serialized in weekly magazines like Liwayway, Bisaya, Hiligaynon and Bannawag. The essay in English became a potent medium from the 1920s to the present. Some leading essayists were journalists like Carlos P. Romulo, Jorge Bacobo, and Pura Santillan Castrence, who wrote formal to humorous to oinformal essays for the Filipinos. Among those who wrotr criticism developed during the American period were Ignacio Manlapaz, Leopoldo Yabes and I. V. Mallari.

Introduction to Philippine Literature Philippine Literature is a diverse and rich group of works that has evolved side by side with the countrys history. Literature started with fables and legends made by the ancient Filipinos long before the arrival of the Spaniards. The main themes of Philippine literature focus on the countrys pre-colonial cultural traditions and the socio-political history of its colonial and contemporary traditions. Literature, as defined by the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary is: (1) the writing or the study of books, etc., valued as works of art (drama, fiction, essays, poetry, biography) contrasted with technical books and journalism; (2) all the writings of a country (French literature) or a period (18th century English literature); (3) printed material describing or advertising e.g. pamphlets; (4) books dealing with special subjects: travel, poultry farming. Maximo Ramos, in his paper entitled Literature as a Maker of Myths considers literature to mean the art written in memorable language on a memorable subject. E. A. Manuel defines literature as any artistic creative piece, whether written or oral, which we can enjoy repeatedly. Literature is one of the seven basic art disciplines that make up the humanities, the others being painting, scripture, architecture, music and dance, theatre and the cinema. I. V. Mallari asserts that all things around you, that have been fashioned by man, as distinguished from the phenomenon of nature, are forms of art; and since the Gumanities is the study of art subjects (literature included), everything artistically created by man, when contemplated for its aesthetic and even its functional value, will automatically fall under the scope of the Humanities, one of which is literature.